Download the associated Workbook for this lesson
As we have stated in previous lessons, we believe the content of a Worksheet is far more important than using a great deal of formatting to pretty it up.
However, when it comes to printing a Worksheet, it is essential that you know how to produce a finished product that a reader can easily relate to. It is definitely worth spending a small amount of time on getting your printer settings correct, rather than waste time and paper trying to do it quickly. Letís look at the printing function of Excel in more detail.
There are many different ways that you can print a Workbook. The three most common are:
- By going to File>Print.
- By selecting Ctrl + P.
- By selecting the printer icon on your Standard Toolbar.
If you print by selecting the printer icon, you must be aware that this option will by-pass the Print dialog box and print straight to your printer using its current print settings. Use this option only when you are sure of your print settings.
Let us now access the Print dialog box by using either the File>Print option or by selecting Ctrl + P and look at the essential functions of this dialog box in some more detail. Printer Name
In the white box next to Name, you will see the printer that your particular PC is connected to. If you can access more than one printer, selecting the downward pointing arrow to the right of the printer name will enable you to see the other printers you are connected to. If you wish to change printers to print (ie, if you are connected to both a black and white printer and a color printer, you can decide which printer you wish to use by just clicking the desired printer with your left mouse button. Status
This is telling you the status of the printer you have selected. The choices are either busy or idle. Type
This is again telling you which type of printer you are connected to as your default Where
This is identifying to you the location of your printer. If you are connected to a local printer it will display the port number of your computer. If you are connected to a network printer, it will display the location of the network printer. Find Printer
Allows you to select a printer on your network that is not listed in your dialog box. Sometimes network administrators will bar you from entering this area, but if you have access, you can select the printer you want to use, click OK to return to this menu and print the document. Properties
By pressing this button, you will be taken to a sub-menu of Properties. Letís look at the sheet tabs within this sub-menu. After making a selection on any of these sheet tabs, click OK and your changes will be accepted.
Note:Some of the options listed here may not be available to you, you may have extra options, or the option names may be slightly different. This is entirely dependent on the printer you are connected to. Paper Paper Size
Under this heading you will see the various paper sizes available to your printer. Have a look at the paper sizes available to you by scrolling through with the horizontal scroll bar beneath the icon window. Clicking on the desired paper size will select it. You will note in this box that there is a custom icon. If you printer supports custom paper sizes, you can click this icon and specify the size you wish to use. Paper Source
This box and its downward pointing arrow to the right specify where in your particular printer your paper resides. Different printers have different paper sources, such as upper tray, manual feed or lower tray and you may wish to change your source. For instance, in most business today you will find letterhead stored in an upper tray and followers (white) paper in a lower tray, or A3 paper stored in one tray, and legal in another. Media Choice
This box and its downward pointing arrow to the right specify the type of mediums available to you. These could be in the range of standard, bond, special paper, or transparency. Note that if you select transparency, you must have a transparency in your paper tray, otherwise if you print on ordinary paper, the printerís ink will smear and waste not only ink but paper as well. About
This will tell you nothing more than the copyright information unique to your particular printer. Restore Defaults
Pressing this button will restore the defaults on this page tab to their original settings. Graphics Resolution
This option will only apply if you are using a laser printer and true-type fonts. It enables you to change the resolution of your printing. Basically, the higher the resolution, the better quality printing you will get. Dithering
Dithering is used for color printing and black and white printing. It blends pure colors into patterns to simulate a wider range of colors (such as blending red and yellow together to make orange) when used with a color printer, and will produce grey shading in graphics for black and white printers. None
Click None if you donít want any dithering. Course
Click this if your resolution setting is 300 dots per inch or higher. Fine
Click this option if your resolution setting is 200 dots per inch or less. Line Art
Click this option if your graphics include well-defined borders between black, white and grey settings. Error Diffusion
For printing pictures or photographs without well-defined or sharp edges. Intensity
This option has a slide bar that can be dragged by holding down your left mouse button on the arrow and dragging towards either darkest or lightest. It will affect how dark or light the graphics in your document are printed. Device Options Print Quality
The options under this heading will be unique to your printer. Basically, you can change the type of quality you want to use depending on if you want to print a draft, a presentation or whatever.
Back onto the Print Dialog Box now and we will look at Print Range.
There are two options under print range. Select All you would use if you wish to print your entire Workbook, or Select Page(s) if you wish to only print some of your Workbook. You can either type in the From and To boxes, or you can use the spin button (the tiny upwards and downwards pointing arrows to the right of these boxes) to make a selection. Then click OK. Print What
There are three options under this heading. Selection
By selecting this option, Excel will only print the range you have selected. Active Sheet
If you select this option, Excel will print the active sheet. This is defined as going from the first cell containing data to the furthest right most cell containing data, and the furthest bottom cell containing data in your Worksheet. Entire Workbook
This obviously will print the entire Workbook if selected. Copies
You can either type the number of copies that you require in this box, or use the spin button to make a selection, then select OK. Preview
By pressing this button, you will be able to view your document in Print Preview mode. More about this now in lesson 30. Got any Excel Questions? Free Excel Help
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